Train derails, 19 lightly hurt

Twenty-four passengers and four crew members had a miraculous escape early yesterday when the two wagons of the train on the Kalamata-Athens run hit a boulder that had fallen onto the track and tumbled about 70 meters into a 200-meter-deep ravine. Nineteen passengers were hurt, of whom 10 were hospitalized – three with broken arms or legs and the others with lighter injuries. Thick foliage and trees had slowed down the wagons’ fall and kept them from falling further. The accident occurred at 1.15 a.m. 178 kilometers (110 miles) out of Athens, on the Kalamata-Tripolis part of Train 427’s route. Suddenly, at a bend, the driver saw a rock had fallen onto the tracks. He pulled the brakes but the train hit the rock and was derailed. Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) Managing Director Constantine Yiannakos said it was «a most rare incident,» adding that heavy rains over two days had caused the rock to be dislodged from the hillside.

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